Let me preface my experiment with the following disclaimer--I have really, really tough skin. It's really oily and I've had cystic acne for a long time, and few products have had any effect on it. I've tried drugstore, department store, and prescription products, without a whole lot of luck. So I wasn't really worried about any potential negative effects. If you have sensitive or dry skin, you might not want to try it! And even if your skin type is like mine, use caution and common sense.
I didn't do the steam part since I didn't have any essential oils. So I made a paste out of baking soda and water and applied it to my makeup-free face, rubbing it on for a little physical exfoliation. I've tried a lot of exfoliating cleansers, but can never get the right amount of grit combined with the perfect cleansing formula. I liked that this exfoliated but I could mix it with anything--even just water. However, as I left it on my face, it started to sting. I didn't really notice any effect on the blackheads on my nose and cheeks. The next few days, I used the baking soda only to exfoliate (sometimes mixing it with a cream cleanser), and then rinsed off the mixture right away. You have to rinse rinse rinse really well to get all of the baking soda off. If you don't, the residue can remain on your skin and is a bit drying.
After a few days, I noticed my skin seemed clearer--almost no acne! Although the blackheads only seem a little better, but I'm still really pleased with this cheap solution! The fact that my acne has cleared up so much is really a miracle. So even though this pin didn't quite work as described (ok, I know I didn't do the steam, but I tried it after a shower and the baking soda paste mask still burned!), the adapted use of baking soda to tame acne is super awesome.
Do you have any DIY skincare recipes that you love?